Archive for ‘administrative’

December 23, 2022

A Merry Christmas to all

by Neil Rickert

We will be having a white Christmas this year, with the severe winter storm that is now hitting the Chicago area.

I grew up in Australia (near Perth) where Christmas is during summer. I remember those sunny hot Christmas days. A cool salad was more appropriate for Christmas dinner than was a roast turkey.

I have previously posted a video of Tim Minchin’s “White wine in the sun”. It gives a different meaning to “white Christmas” and one that fits my own childhood experience. It isn’t religious, but you don’t have to be religious to enjoy Christmas.

Best wishes, everyone.

January 3, 2018

Re-introducing this blog

by Neil Rickert

I haven’t posted much recently.  But I’m about to try becoming more active.

I originally started this blog to discuss some of my ideas, many of them being related to human cognition.  I have found, mostly before I started this blog, that it is difficult to communicate my ideas to others.  It seems that I am looking at the various questions in ways that are very different from how most philosophers look at them.  And by “philosophers”, I really mean humans.  We all philosophize to some extent.

That I am looking at things very differently is the basis for the name I have given the blog.

I’ll be attempting to get back to a rate of around one post per week.  But I won’t be pushing myself to meet that rate.

And a note on comments.  I currently have configured the blog so that commenting on a post is closed after 30 days.  That’s mainly to reduce the amount of spamming.

April 27, 2017

Closing comments after 30 days

by Neil Rickert

I’ve changed the settings on this blog, so that comments are automatically closed on a post after 30 days.

I’m making this change for two reasons:

  1. There are too many spam comments, mostly on older posts.
  2. I rarely get comments on old posts anyway.

For the present, I’ll leave all comments open on my other blog (on computer), because I do sometimes get comments on older posts there.

July 20, 2016

This blog is 6 years old

by Neil Rickert

I received notification from WordPress, earlier today, that it is now 6 years since I started this blog.

My posting rate has slowed down recently.  But it has not completely stopped.  The slowdown is partly because I’m frustrated with the weirdness of philosophy.  (Hmm, maybe that would make a good title for a future post).

I have not posted much on politics.  That’s mostly because few people are likely to be interested in my opinions.  But this has been a strange political season, so I’ll probably be posting some comments before the November elections.  I will at least wait until after the conventions.

May 14, 2016


by Neil Rickert

Recently, my posts have been infrequent.  That’s partly, because of frustration.

Scientists often criticize philosophy.  And, when they do, philosophers retort that scientists do a lot of philosophy themselves.  That’s true.  But it misses the point that the kind of philosophy that scientists do is often very different from what analytic philosophers do.

I’ve decided to try a new track.  Instead of pointing to disagreements with analytic philosophers, I shall attempt to outline my own ideas of how philosophy should be done.  In particular, it will be a guide to how I look at the questions related to human cognition.  And then, I will contrast that with what analytic philosophers appear to be doing.  I’ve created a new category “My Philosophy” to use for these posts.

To me, the kind of philosophy that I see coming from academic philosophers resembles religion.  I sometimes think of it as the religion of the academy.  What makes it look like religion is a strong emphasis on preserving ancient traditions.

Philosophers tend to be bright people.  The posts on my philosophy will be suggesting where I might hope that they will redirect their analytical skills.

July 19, 2015

Five years of blogging

by Neil Rickert

WordPress notified me, earlier today, that it five years since I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure that I would keep it up that long.

My blogging rate has slowed.  At the beginning it was a bit more than one post per week.  Now it is closer to one per two weeks.

My thanks and appreciation to those who have been reading this blog.

May 1, 2015

The Sheldrake — Shermer debates

by Neil Rickert

“Through the months of May, June, and July of 2015, is hosting an intensive dialogue on the nature of science between Rupert Sheldrake and Michael Shermer.”

That’s quoted from “Sheldrake-Shermer, Materialism in Science, Opening Statements“.  I found it an interesting read.  I plan to keep my eye on this debate over the next few months.  Perhaps I’ll post something based on what I read.

October 17, 2014

I’ve been neglecting this blog

by Neil Rickert

It’s been a little over a month since my last post.  I took a few days of travel, but never got back to posting on my return.

Mostly, I have been engaged in similar philosophical discussions at The Skeptical Zone, where I continue to see people look at things with a “God’s eye view” philosophy that cannot work (in my opinion).

Now reading

I am currently reading Dembski’s new book “Being as Communion” and will probably post on that when I have finished.  I won’t say that the book is disappointing, because I started with low expectations.

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to posting around once per week.

May 20, 2014

A good sign for the economy?

by Neil Rickert

Spamming is up.  I’m referring to comment spamming of blogs.

I have just deleted 26 spam comments.  When I checked this morning, I deleted 29 spam comments.  In the middle of the day, I deleted another 23 spam comments.

Until recently, I would rarely see more than 2 spam comments per day.

I’m guessing that this is a good sign for the economy.  It suggests that someone has money to spend on hiring spammers.

Oh, and Akismet is great in detecting spam.  I do briefly scan what it finds to see if there are any false positives, though that seems to rarely happen.

August 20, 2013

Why I started this blog

by Neil Rickert

I have not posted much lately, so perhaps the background that I shall try to present here will partially explain that.

During my own study of human learning, I have come to understand how the mind works.  I could be mistaken about that, of course, though my understanding continues to hold up rather well.  Readers of this blog will doubtless be skeptical, since I have never published an explanation of how the mind works.

I have made attempts to present an explanation.  But my attempts are not successful.  People react as if what I write is obviously wrong, yet they are never able to tell me what is wrong.  What becomes very clear, is that the way I am looking at the question is very different from the way that they are looking at the question.  And that observation is where I came up with the idea for the title of this blog.

There’s a message here, about thinking outside the box.  If you think too far outside the editor’s box, you won’t get published.

I started the blog, to have a place where I could present some of my ideas.  And I have been doing that, though with care to try and stay not too far from the terminology that is commonly used by others discussing the mind.  But it does become frustrating, after a while, to be unable to communicate what I see as important ideas.

My best guess is that I shall never succeed in presenting my understanding of the mind.  I am not allowing that to bother me, though I do occasionally need to take a break from thinking about the related issues.  Hence my recent lack of posting.